The Call to Serve

To the Dartmouth community,

Last Friday, Gail and I and our colleagues in the President's Office spent a rewarding afternoon volunteering at the Upper Valley Haven, a non-profit organization that assists individuals and families struggling with poverty.

Despite the soggy weather, some of us helped to clean up the grounds, while others stocked food shelves and made casseroles and pies for residents of the Haven's temporary living facility. It was a great way to help our neighbors in the community and, at the same time, build community with one another.

In this, Dartmouth's 250th year, volunteer service is especially meaningful. In honor of our sestercentennial, we have launched "The Call to Serve," a challenge to ourselves, as a Dartmouth community, to record 250,000 hours of community service worldwide.

At its best, leadership is all about service -- intentional acts that better the communities of which we are a part. As we strive to educate and cultivate the next generation of leaders and model leadership ourselves in our personal and professional lives, I encourage each and every one of you to join in this effort. Gather you friends, your families, your colleagues and help us celebrate the power of our Dartmouth community to make a difference in the world around us.

There are so many opportunities before us: picking up roadside litter during our townships' Green Up Days, coaching youth sports, serving our communities through our religious organizations, volunteering for the Prouty, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, running races for charities -- the list goes on and on.

It makes no difference how you choose to serve; only that you do. More than 80,000 hours have already been recorded by members of the Dartmouth community as part of this program, and I'm counting on you to do your part. Any service initiative in which you are involved can be counted toward this effort, provided that it benefits individuals and organizations outside of Dartmouth. Simply record your service hours at once completed, so we can track our progress.

Let us show the world that Dartmouth alumni, students, families, faculty and staff really do change the world, one act of leadership at a time.


Philip J. Hanlon '77